by Rev. John Dear, S.J.
Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace
We’ve all witnessed the worst of religion, how organized religion can hurt us, turn our leaders into cruel, power-hungry authorities, and bless war not peace. Yet many of us continue to plumb the depths of all that is good and positive in religion and spirituality in our search for the Divine, and this proves to be a great blessing. In this search for God and the common good, at some point, many of us have joined local, national and international interfaith programs and projects in our work for peace, to reach out to those of different religions in a spirit of respect as we seek a more just and peaceful world. Interfaith peacemaking is a necessary component of every movement of justice and peace. A new book, however, suggests we can go even deeper, to explore an “interspiritual” approach to life.
God of Love: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Monkfish Books, 240 pp. $15.95) by Mirabai Starr walks us through an interspiritual approach to the Abrahamic traditions and invites us to seek not just dialogue, but the God we worship together as members of the Abrahamic faiths. These beautiful reflections on Judaism, Christianity and Islam open up the personal and spiritual dimensions at the heart of these religions as a way to deepen our own spiritual life and make greater peace with others.
Starr, my friend of Taos, New Mexico, has previously published acclaimed translations of the Dark Night of the Soul by John of the Cross, and The Interior Castle and The Book of My Life by Teresa of Avila. Here she shares overviews of essential teachings of the Abrahamic religions, stories of their saints and spiritual masters, their prophetic calls for justice and peace, and examples from her own spiritual journey to offer an interspiritual perspective that calls us to the practice of universal love at the heart of these religions…